Miami Dolphins

Billy Turner hopes to emerge in six-way Dolphins guard battle

Defensive lineman Ndamukong Suh 93, grabs Billy Turner 77, as he rushes the quarterback on the first day of the Miami Dolphins' pre-season training for the 2015 NFL season, July 30, 2015.
Defensive lineman Ndamukong Suh 93, grabs Billy Turner 77, as he rushes the quarterback on the first day of the Miami Dolphins' pre-season training for the 2015 NFL season, July 30, 2015. MIAMI HERALD STAFF

The Dolphins’ six-way battle for two starting guard spots includes two men who say they have never played guard in a game in their lives (tackles Laremy Tunsil and Jermon Bushrod), jack-of-all trades Kraig Urbik, perpetually beleaguered Dallas Thomas and two veteran Dolphins draft picks eager to prove their worth — Billy Turner and Jamil Douglas.

Tunsil, Miami’s ballyhooed first-round pick, is expected to be a starter eventually this season, if not immediately. But among the other contenders, Turner has as good a chance as any to start, if he can hold off Bushrod, a former Pro Bowl tackle who’s still awaiting medical clearance after offseason shoulder surgery.

Turner, the Dolphins’ third-round pick in 2014, was Miami’s first-team right guard in the June minicamp, though he also received work at tackle during the offseason program.

Turner played with the first team throughout training camp last season before Douglas was surprisingly named the starter. But Douglas struggled, and Turner replaced him after four games and started the final 12.

“Last year, it was a little frustrating for me,” Turner said. “My first year I was here, unfortunately, I got hurt and broke my foot. But I was able to come into training camp and get better. Unfortunately, I wasn’t starting at the beginning of the year. I was happy I got to start. And as the season progressed, I was able to get better … and lose some of my bad habits.”

Former offensive line coach John Benton previously compared Turner to a “bull in a china shop,” a powerful force who needed to refine his technique. Turner said having a new position coach (Chris Foerster) is “like learning a new language. There is going to be a challenge with that — breaking old habits and learning new techniques.”

Though only three starters are determined — center Mike Pouncey and tackles Branden Albert and Ja’Wuan James — Turner said: “I think anyone that knows football knows that we have the potential to be the best offensive line in football.”

GRIMES FALLOUT

The Dolphins and Buccaneers declined to comment about the latest offensive Twitter rant served up by Miko Grimes, wife of Tampa Bay and former Dolphins cornerback Brent Grimes.

Referring to Dolphins owner Stephen Ross and president/football operations Mike Tannenbaum, Miko Grimes tweeted: “Gotta respect Ross for keeping his Jew buddies employed but did he not see how Tannenbaum put the Jets in the dumpster w/that [Mark] Sanchez deal?”

The Anti-Defamation League on Tuesday said it is “outraged and deeply concerned with Ms. Grimes’ recent comment, which evokes textbook anti-Semitic stereotypes and conspiracy theories about secret Jewish control. Her suggestion that an NFL front office would operate as a ‘Jews-only club’ is nothing less than classic, garden-variety anti-Semitism. … Ms. Grimes needs to realize that her words were deeply offensive.”

Miko Grimes also trashed Ryan Tannehill, as she typically has in the months before and after the Dolphins released Brent Grimes in March. Comparing fans of former Lakers star Kobe Bryant with fans of Tannehill, Miko Grimes said: “Both are super stupid but at least Kobe was a baller. Tannehill is a bum!”

She also tweeted: “The Dolphins [expletive] stink! They will never be great as long as Stephen Ross is the owner, Tannenbaum is the G.M., and Tannehill is the QB!”

She said Grimes planned to retire if the Dolphins didn’t release him and “no way I was gonna let him retire with a bum at QB, G.M., and owner! No [expletive] way! We will go out on a high with a REAL QB, not a WR at QB!”

▪ Receiver Wes Welker, who dressed in a Dolphins uniform and served as a voluntary coach during part of the Dolphins’ offseason program, told Sirius XM NFL Radio on Tuesday that there’s a “a small percentage” he will play again. Coach Adam Gase said last month that the team does not intend to sign Welker as a player.

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